Document 201079

November 1985 $1.95
How to be joyful in tough times
You can experience the joy of Jesus
Why you lose your joy and how to keep it
(A COpy OF
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Often, just when you think you've got a: hold on joy, it begins to slip away.
Bob Mumford explains in his humorous style the secret of keeping your joy.
Ern Baxter tells how we can find
that elusive fruit of the Spirit, joy.
by Ern Baxter
How to be joyful in tough times
12 DON'T
by Bob Mumford
Why you lose your joy and how to keep it
20 "LORD,
by Evelyn Laird
Under the pressure of a new job and caring for her terminally
ill mother, a woman finds God's joy.
23 by
Bruce Longstreth
Why does the lArd want IrIS Church
to be a "lost and found department"?
You can experience the joy of Jesus.
28 by
Larry Lea
How you can revitalize your daily time with the Lord
The Word
Did You Know?
Tips for Fathers
The Way I See It
Brian Banashak, 20; David Lay,
23, 26-27; Chris Poole, 6, 8, 11; H
Armstrong Roberts, 30-31; Chris
Shannon, 13-15, 17; Jane Tucker,
29, 32-34.
Vol. 17, No. 11, November 1985
© 1985 by Integrity Communications. All rights reserved. New Wine [ISSN 0194-438X[
[USPS 382-520) is published monthly by I ntegrity Communications. 1000 Cody Roa d.
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Larry Lea gives the final keys to an
exciting time with the lArd.
Evangelical Press Association. All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version
unless otherwise noted. Bible verses mar ked NAS: Scripture ta ken from t he New American Standard Bible. -:9 1960. 1962. 1963. 1968. 1972. 1975 by The Lockman Foundation.
La Habra. California 90631. Bible verses marked N IV: Scripture taken from the HOLY
B IBLE: NEW INTER NATIO NAL VERS ION. Copyright -:9 1973. 1978 by the Intern ational Bible Society. Used by permission of Zonderva n Bible Publishers.
A significant key to the joy of the Christian
"Infinite Distance"
y this uproar among
the nations? Why
this impotent mutterings of pagans-kings on
earth rising in revolt, princes
plotting against Yahweh and
his Anointed, now let us break
their fetters! Now let us throw
off their yoke! The One whose
throne is in heaven sits laughing, Yahweh derides them (Ps.
2:1-4 Jerusalem Bible).
In this Psalm, God sits in the
heavens and laughs at His
enemies' frantic attempts to dethrone Him and unshackle themselves from His divine reign.
Their petty rebellion is humorous
for only a brief moment; then suddenly He addresses them in His
anger, saying, "This is My King,
installed by Me on Zion, My holy
mountain. Fear Him!" (v. 6, free
At first it may seem strange
that God laughs at the "impotent
mutterings of pagans." But,
"God laughs," says Franz Delitzsch, a nineteenth-century German theologian, "at the defiant
ones, for between them and Him
there is an infinite distance."
"Infinite distance" is the significant key not only to God's
laughter but also to the Christian's joy. The impotent mutterings of pagans often infiltrate our
homes through television, newspaper, raQio, and magazines. If we
successfully resist the mutterings
of the various media, a wellmeaning friend may offer to bring
us up-to-date. "Have you heard
about the ... " is usually the way
it starts. Whether it's the threat
of nuclear holocaust, the spread
of terrorism, or the increase in
the national debt, we may soon
lose our joy if we do not put a
great distance between our
spirit and the "spirit of this
When we are able to distance
ourselves from what appear to be
life-threatening problems that rob
us of our joy, we often see that
they aren't so terrible after all. In
fact, many times a new perspective makes them downright funny. God's eternal perspective
causes Him to laugh at the mutterings of pagans. But we are
often robbed of our joy and happiness because we lack His perspective; we fail to see the way
God does. He sits on His heavenly throne and views the rage of
the finite. At first, He is amused,
but soon angered, He reveals His
King and kingdom, and the raging ceases.
The distance we must have between the problem and us for our
joy to abound is the "infinite
distance" we experience in fellowship with God around His throne.
Paul says in Ephesians 2:6 that
we have been made to sit together
in heavenly places in Christ
Jesus. Our joy is based upon our
viewpoint, which in turn depends
upon where and with whom we sit.
"Keep looking down" is good advice for the believer who desires
God's perspective.
The view from the King's
throne is hopeful, victoriously
optimistic, and causes not only
joyful praise but occasional side-
splitting laughter. Abraham and
Sarah laughed when God foresaw
a child for them in their old age.
But it must have been okay to
laugh because they named him
Isaac, which means "God has
made us laugh." For them, the
essence of God's kingdom was
"righteousness, peace, and joy
(expressed in holy laughter) in
the Holy Ghost."
In this issue we focus on the
joy that we have as we walk with
Zion's King. Ern Baxter starts
us off with a fresh look at the
definition and source of the
Christian's joy. Then, Bob Mumford, in his unique way, gives us
the secret to keeping our joy.
And you'll read in my feature article how our joy abounds as our
ministry of reconciliation brings
others into fellowship around the
And finally, we want to present the second part of Larry
Lea's series on prayer. Forgiveness, protection, and praise are
the final notes for the Christian
to sound in his daily prayer life.
Larry once again brings us back
to the need for a deeper prayer
relationship with the Lord.
The King of Zion must laugh
often as He views life's overserious participants. Yet He freely shares His perspective with
. His people, and as we walk with
Him in "infinite distance" and in
the unchanging covenant He has
made with us, we can laugh and
be joyful as well. And perhaps
our joy will cause a sad world to
wonder about the King whom
God has placed in Zion. 0
Bruce Longstreth is
editor of New Wine
and Fathergram.
from His viewpoint there is no
separation of life into secular and
sacred. He is the Lord of life, all
of life. My employment or my unemployment, my riches or my
poverty are all for His glory. September's theme is really a word
from the Lord. Many of us need
"occupational redemption." God
bless you for New Wine!
Lyndon Robinson
Brooklyn, NY
Taking Care of Business
I very much enjoyed the
September issue ("Working 9 to
5 ") on business. In my travels all
over the United States, I've become more and more convinced
that the future and the responsibility far this nation do not rest in
the White House, the Congress,
or the Supreme Court. They lie
squarely upon the shoulders of
those who run the companies that
constitute the backbone of this
nation's economy, which in turn
is the backbone of the world's
George W. Brown, Jr.
Fellowship of Companies
for Christ
Atlanta, GA
that we didn't have time to seek
careers or plan long-term goals.
We had to learn how to balance a
healthy desire to see the Lord
return with the wisdom to occupy until He comes.
In this present decade we have
learned how to willingly labor to
provide for a growing family. Out
of the increase we are now able to
financially minister as the Lord
leads. Thank you for addressing
the biblical work ethic. We take
joy in being a small part of God's
plan, working with the master
craftsman to accomplish His purpose on the earth.
Mason and Nancy Fletcher
Jackson, MS
Awaiting His Arrival
As we read the article "Working With God" by Charles Simpson (September), we couldn't help
but reflect back to the early
1970's when we were so eagerly
awaiting the coming of the Lord
A Healthy Checkup
Thanks so much for your
September issue. I only just
started reading it, and it's off
with a bang. "Time for a Checkup" by Don Litton was just
great. In the past five years, the
Father has been showing me that
The Winner-By a Nose
September's "Homespun" ("God
Knows Noses") about the little
three year old's prayer and how
his father was healed of sinus
problems is precious. If we
adults could trust God in alike
manner, this would be a different
Also, I have been so touched
by recent letters from prisoners
who have been brought to the
Lord through New Wine and
have used it to bless others.
Mrs. Ellen Agre
Roseville, MN
Keeping the Home Pure
While reading Don Basham's
article ("Spiritual Warfare in the
Home," June), I started thinking
about our three-year-old daughter, who had been tormented
with fear for months. She was
having nightmares and becoming
rather rebellious.
God directed my attention to
a wall hanging we had, and I really looked at it close for the first
time. In the center was a lion's
head surrounded by a two-headed
eagle crisscrossed with swords-a
symbol used in pagan worship! I
began to pray in the Spirit, and I
felt God's protection covering
me. I removed the hanging from
the house, and my husband destroyed it that evening and
anointed the house.
Since that day, our house has
looked lighter, felt lighter, and
Publisher and President
Michael Coleman
Bruce Longstreth
Administrative Editor
Bob Bruce
Editorial Assistants
Jackie Conn
Diana Scimone
Chief Editorial Consultant
Don Basham
ProductioD Manager
Susan Fontaine
Art Director
Brian Banashak
Production Coordinator
Catherine Girod
Jack Wood
Director of OperatioDs
Don Raymond
Marketing Director
Edward L. Lindquist
Circulation Director
Bill D. Turk
Board of Directors of
Integrity Communications
Charles V. Simpson, chairman
Don Basham
Bob Mumford
Ern Baxter
John Duke
Joseph Garlington
Billy Duke
Bruce Longstreth
Contributing Editors
John Beckett
Larry Christ.enson
Terry Fullam
Dick Iverson
Terry Law
R.J. Rushdoony
Karl Strader
Ken Sumrall
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tians by presenting sound biblical teachings and
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our daughter has become a gentle, obedient little girl who is no
longer filled with fear. From now
on, we will screen every little
thing that comes our way. God
bless you, Don Basham, for obeying God's voice and writing this
article when it was most greatly
Cheryl Walters
Bowie, TX
A Good Witness
Thank you for your creativity
in graphics and photography. I
often read New Wine on the commuter train and catch fellow
commuters checking out a bold
heading or colorful photo.
Cindy Randles
Daly City, CA
Singing to the Lord
I was in Pittsburgh visiting my
daughter last week when she
received her first Hosanna! Music
tape. We practically wore it out
the next two days. It's beautiful!
I've heard lots of beautiful
music, but the worship is there,
which is what's really important.
Julie Oldach
Erie, PA
Reaching Poland
I've been receiving your magazine for several months already
and I thank God for your great
ministry. Since I'm an English
teacher in a grammar school,
many young people have access
to your magazines through me.
You have already helped many in
this country and you'll help more
people soon. My church recently
bought printing machines, and
I'm going to translate many of
your articles into Polish.
The personal testimonies as
well as deeper studies of God's
Word are very helpful. I'm especially grateful because as you
know I can't pay you money for
the issues, but I am still receiving them.
I love you brothers and sisters
and pray that your ministry is
strong and fruitful.
Name withheld
Baptized in the Spirit
After reading your article
"Signs and Wonders" (May), the
interview with John Wimber, I
sat near my reading desk and
started crying and crying for
about half an hour. At the same
time I was praising God in a new
At first I did not know what
had happened to me. Then I began to realize the Holy Spirit was
convicting me of my secret sins
and shameful past. The Spirit of
Christ had also given me a new
language to worship and praise
Him in!
After the experience I felt a
tremendous sense of the cleansing power of Christ and freedom
from the burden and guilt of my
Charlie Hai Yoon Chin
Setapak J aya, Malaysia
"Dear New Wine" is your
platform to express your
point of view about a New
Wine article, to pose a question, or to disagree with a
point we've made.
If you'd like to respond to
a specific article, to question
a writer, or to share how
God spoke to you or challenged you, this is your opportunity to do it. Send your
letters to "Dear New Wine,"
P.O. Box Z, Mobile, Alabama 36616.
November 1985
I Believe in the Universal Church Because...
I. God's Government Reaches to the Ends of the Earth
A. The Lord possesses the heathen .... .. .... . .. . ..... Ps. 2:1-12 . ... . . . . .. . .. . . .. . Nov.
B. The Lord is worshiped by the nations ...... . . .. .... Ps. 22:22-31 ... . .. .... . . ... . Nov.
C. The Lord is feared by the peoples ...... . . .. ........ Ps. 67:1-7 ..... . .... . ... .. . . Nov.
D. The Lord commands all to be saved ........ .. .. . . . . Is. 45:20-25 .. . .. ... . . . . .. . .. Nov.
E. The Lord's salvation is seen by all ... . . . ...... . .... Is. 52:7-15 . . . . . .... .. ....... Nov.
F. The Lord's greatness is known by all ............... Mic. 5:1-5 .... . .. .. . . ... .. .. Nov.
G. The Lord will govern the earth in peace . . ... . .... .. . Zech. 9:1-10 . . . . . . ...... . .... Nov.
H. The Lord redeems from every kindred and nation . .... . . Rev. 5: 1-14 ... . . . .. . .... . .. . Nov.
II. The Church's Commission Is Universal
A. To all nations and every creature ... . . ............ . Mt. 28:16-20; Mk. 16:14-20 . .. . Nov. 9
B . From Jerusalem to the remotest part ... . ..... . .. . . Acts 1:1-11 ... ... ..... . . . .. . Nov. 10
III. The Church's Response Was Directed Outward
A. "In one place" . . . . ... .. .................... . .. . Acts 1:12-2:4 . . . ..... .. ... . Nov.
B. "From every nation under heaven" .. . ...... . .... . . Acts 2:5-41 ........ . . .. . . . .. Nov.
C. "At ease in Zion" before the persecution ... . . ....... Acts 4:23-37 . . . .. . . . .. ... ... Nov.
D. The scattered Church at work in Samaria .... . ...... Acts 8:1-25 . . .... . .. .. ...... Nov.
E. The gospel extended to Ethiopia .. .. ..... .. ....... Acts 8:26-40 ..... . . .. . . . ... . Nov.
F . The first Gentiles baptized . ...... . .. . .... . ...... . Acts 10:1-48 . . ... . . . . . .. . ... Nov.
G. The church at Antioch ... ... ... . ...... . . . . ... . .. Acts 11: 19-30 .. ... . ......... Nov.
IV. The Church's Growth Extended Throughout the World
A. Cyprus and Pisidian Antioch ..................... Acts
B . Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe . ........ . .. . .... . .... Acts
C. Philippi ............. .. ..... .. .. . ... .. ........ Acts
D. From Thessalonica to Athens . . . . . . . .. . .. . .. .. . . . Acts
E. Corinth ........... . ....... .. ..... . ... . .. .. ... Acts
F. Ephesus . .. . .. ....... . . . .. .. . . .... . .. ... ...... Acts
13:1-52 ...... .. .... . ... Nov.
14:1-28 .... . . . ......... Nov.
16:1-40 . . . .. . . . . .. .... . Nov.
17:1-34 .... .. .. ........ Nov.
18:1-17 ... ..... ... .. ... Nov.
18:18-19:7 .. . . . .. . .... Nov.
V. Apostle Paul Had a Global Vision
A. "I must see Rome also" ........ .. .. .. .. . . . ... . .. Acts
B. "I must finish my course" .............. . ....... . Acts
C. " I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die " .... Acts
D. "Brethren and fathers, hear my defense" ......... .. Acts
E. "I obeyed the heavenly vision" ....... . . . . . ....... Acts
F . "Keep up your courage . . . 1 believe God" . .. . .. ... . . Acts
G. "Salvation has been sent to the Gentiles" . . ........ . Acts
19:8-22 ... . ... . ... . .. .. Nov.
20:17-38 ...... . .. . .... . Nov.
21:7-40 ........... . .... Nov.
22:1-21 ... . .. . .. .. .. .. . Nov.
26:1-32 ..... . ... . .. . ... Nov.
27:1-44 .. .. ... . .... . . .. Nov.
28:1-31 ..... . .. . . . . . . . . Nov.
A monthly Bible study by Bruce Longstreth
Is this choice
fruit of the Spirit
missing from your life?
y is not an easy word
to define. As the old Scottish woman said, it is
"better felt than telt." Yet
that is not totally true, for joy
has to do with the mind and
conviction as well as the emotions. Like the Scottish woman,
many Christians would be
amiss in their explanation of
joy. We know we are supposed
to have it, but that's about as
far as our understanding goes.
More than having a good working knowledge of joy, however,
we need to be able to experience it every day of our lives.
That experience comes through
In our attempts to explain
joy, we sometimes try to draw a
contrast between happiness, as
men generally understand it,
and joy, as we Christians understand it. Although it is true that
there is a difference between
them, the difference is not in the
emotional nature of the joy but
in the source and stimulus of
the joy. One may experience
considerable happiness and
pleasure from something that is
completely illicit, and we would
not think of this as being Christian joy. Yet the same set of
emotions when stimulated by
sheer righteous ecstasy are the
means of expressing holy joy.
The ultimate nature of joy is
determined by its source and
that to which the emotions are
Two Kinds of Joy
There is a joy and a happiness
experienced by non-Christians
and there is a joy and happiness
experienced by Christians. It is
interesting that Webster's Dictionary uses a scripture to provide an example of joy: "I will
joy in the God of my salvation"
To the Christian who has experienced both kinds of joy, the
joy of his life before conversion,
and then the joy of his new life in
Christ, there is no question about
which is the superior kind of joy.
Beyond all argument the joy of
the Lord is incomparable!
These two kinds of joy might
be related to the descriptions of
joy in the Scripture, where it is
referred to as being "in the Lord"
(see Philippians 3:1; 4:4) or "in the
flesh." Any joy that comes from
the realm of the flesh or selfgratifying behavior is referred to
as "the pleasures of sin for a
season" (Heb. 11:25). Obviously
the pleasure that comes outside
the Lord is seasonal and transitory and has no essential permanence. The joy of a Christian,
on the other hand, goes on forever. Paul writes, "Rejoice evermore" (1 Th. 5:16). One essential
difference between the joy under
the lordship of Christ and the joy
under the lordship of self is the
difference between permanence
and impermanence.
Joy or pleasure generated by
self-indulgence is connected with
the kingdoms of this world, which
are "passing away." Joy in the
Lord is connected with the kingdom of God, which shall never
pass away. This joy springs from
basic well-being. As Paul says in
Romans 14:17, "The kingdom of
God is ... righteousness, and
peace, and joy in the Holy
Ghost." It is obvious that joy is
the fruit of righteousness and
peace. Therefore to experience
this pure kind of emotional and
situational well-being is to know
righteousness, which results in
peace and finds its emotional expression in joy.
Impaired Joy
Often, when Paul addressed
churches that were in serious
trouble from either indulging in
gross sin or coming under the
bondage of legalism, he found
that their joy was impaired.
When our basic understanding of
and participation in righteousness is faulty, our peace will be
disturbed and the result will be
joylessness. To the Corinthians
who had allowed gross sin to
come in and contaminate the
church, Paul says that while
their faith remains valid their joy
has been affected, and that he
wants to help their joy (see 2 Corinthians 1:24). The manner in
which he helps their joy is by correcting their unrighteousness.
Joy cannot be helped until the
causes of its absence are dealt
with. Therefore, Paul addresses
When our basic
understanding of and
participation in righteousness
is faulty, our peace will be
disturbed and the result will
be joylessness.
the fornication, the division, and
the doctrinal error as well as the
other irregularities in the Corinthian church, all in an attempt
not only to restore them to righteousness, but to joy as well.
Their recovered joy will be a clear
manifestation of restoration to
As we look at the nature of
biblical joy we find that although
it is emotional, it must be soundly based on a clear understanding
of one's right relationship to
God. No superficial stimuli serve
as adequate substitutes for the
deep foundations of genuine joy. ,
Genuine Christian joy is able to
express itself in the most adverse
circumstances because it originates in the historical acts of
God, which affect us in our relationship to Him.
Paul, speaking to the Romans,
prays for them:
May the God of hope fill you
with all joy and peace as you
trust in him, so that you may
overflow with hope by the
power of the Holy Spirit (Rom;
15:13 NIV).
Joy here is based upon trusting
God. One cannot trust what he
does not know about. Through the
hearing of the gospel we have the
revelation of God's plan for the
forgive~ess of our sins and our acceptance before Him in Jesus
Christ. When we embrace this
truth and make it our basic conviction for living, then we have
put ourselves in line for that pure
permanent joy that cannot be interrupted by lesser circumstances.
Our Lord Jesus puts this joy
based on conviction above the
joy based on accomplishment, for
when His disciples returned from
a mission rejoicing that the spirits were subject to them, He replied, "Do not rejoice that the
spirits submit to you, but rejoice
that your names are written in
heaven" (Lk. 10:20 NIV). What
He seems to be saying here is
that while the use of our authority and gifts may be intermittent,
our relationship to God through
Jesus Christ is unchanging. Therefore, although we may rejoice in
what God does through us, our
primary base of joy is our rela- .
tionship with God. The joy of a
Christian is firmly fixed in the
unchanging fact of his relationship to God through Jesus Christ.
Three-dimensional Joy
This firmly founded joy appears to be three-dimensional.
First, it has historical roots. Writing to the Romans, Paul says,
"Not only is this so, but we also
rej oice in God through our Lord
Jesus Christ, through whom we
have now received reconciliation" (Rom. 5:11 NIV). Our joy is
based on the fact of Christ's completed redemption on the cross
and in the resurrection, which
provides our reconciliation to
Him. Our joy rests solidly in that
great historical event.
The second dimension is the
present. Paul urges the Thessalonians to "be joyful always" (1 Th'
5:16 NIV). Because the basis of
Qur joy is unchanging, the expression of our joy should be
equally unchanging. Therefore,
no matter what our circumstances may be at any given time, they
shouldn't affect the basis of our
joy. There are a number of scriptural examples of men who rejoiced in God even though their
physical circumstances were adverse and painful.
The third dimension is the future. Addressing the Romans
again, Paul says:
Through our Lord Jesus
Christ ... we have gained access
by faith into this grace in
which we now stand. And we
rejoice in the hope of the glory
of God (Rom. 5:1-2 NIV).
When our Lord Jesus was going to His cross, He said to His
disciples in the upper room, "Ye
shall weep and lament, but the
world shall rej oice: and ye shall
be sorrowful, but your sorrow
shall be turned into joy" (In.
Although His death would
cause the disciples great sorrow
and the world would celebrate
His punishment, in the resurrection their sorrow would be turned
to joy. They may not have fully
understood it, but He was providing a future ground for joy in the
midst of the most terrible calamity. When He reappeared among
them in resurrection, joy was the
chief characteristic of their gatherings. But at the ascension when
He announced He was to go away
again, He provided the promise
that He would return and that at
His return, joy would know no
During the in-between time we
must endure all of the varied experiences of life, many of which
bring with them pressure and
sadness, but in it all ·,.e have
cause to rejoice, for the certainty
of His glorious return. It is said
of Him that He "for the joy that
was set before him endured the
cross, despising the shame" (Heb.
12:2). On the cross, our Lord
Jesus, in the midst of all the inexplicable agonies of body and soul,
was upheld by an inner exultation that looked past His ordeal
to the endless glory that would be
His in the new order. He saw that
the fruit of His suffering would be
"a great multitude, which no man
could number" (Rev. 7:9). Too
often we become "So engrossed
with the pressure and pain of the
moment that we miss the great
value of this future dimension of
nespite Our Circumstances
This future dimension of joy
provides one of the major differences between joy "in the
flesh" and joy "in the Lord, " as
it relates to the whole matter of
circumstances. To the carnal
man, Christian joy is a mystery.
He sees Christians who are experiencing physical and environmental pressures and yet by some
secret source of happiness are
able to rejoice in the midst of
their trial. It must be very diffieult for him to understand how
"the apostles left the Sanhedrin,
rejoicing because they had been
counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name" (Acts 5:41
A carnal man may endure such
suffering stoically and philosophic:ally. Certainly, there are records of men enduring suffering in
this manner. Enduring it with
joy, however, is reserved for the
person whose source of joy is "independent of circumstances" (Phil.
4:11 Twentieth Century New
Testament). The apostles were men
who had been abused in every
w:ay, induding physical punishment; yet they came out of their
ordeal with great joy, because
their joy was based on their relationship to the Lord Jesus.
Paul, describing the nature of
his life and ministry, says that he
is "sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (2 Cor. 6:10 NIV). This is certainly paradoxical, and yet the
Christian rightly instructed and
related to truth can know the permanence of joy that comes from
his relationship with Christ
through the power of the Holy
Spirit. On another occasion, the
apostle says, "I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy
knows no bounds" (2 Cor. 7:4
NIV). Here he is witnessing the
SULccess of the gospel and the
growth of the young Christians.
Did You
[ijd you know that we
pray for our readers every
Each morning members
of our staff meet to pray for
requests sent in by readers.
During this season of giving
thanks, we want to thank
the Lord for His response to
those prayers and to share
with you some of the answers we've received:
It's been some time now
since I wrote you requesting
prayers for my niece. Everything was wrong with her,
but God has been kind and
has heard the prayers you
made for her. Today she's
out of the hospital and has
started school for this new
term. Her illness had affected her whole being, but
we have seen the goodness
of God at work in her.
-J.M., Jamaica, West Indies
Had to take a minute to
drop you a quick note to let
you know my brother called
me-after twenty months!
He has been running from
God, but was under such
conviction to call home, so
he did! Thank you for your
- K.M. ,Moorpark, CA
We're here to promote
your spiritual growth, and
praying for your needs is an
important part of that mission. When you have a need,
write us. We're thankful to
the Lord for answering our
prayers for our readers, and
we thought you'd like to
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Although it is accompanied with
much suffering and persecution,
his joy knows no bounds because
the source of his joy is not in
On yet another occasion, Paul
congratulates the Thessalonians,
You became imitators of us
and of the Lord; in spite of
severe suffering, you welcomed
the message with the joy given
by the Holy Spirit (1 Th. 1:6
Charles SimpsQn on the Incarnation
Next Month
in New Wine:
The Mystery
of Christmas
Charles Simpson urges us
this Christmas to cut
through the glitter and tinsel and to celebrate the
essence of the season: the
mystery of the Incarnation.
Don Basham looks at the
lives of two little-known biblical characters who, although they appear only
briefly in the story of Jesus'
birth, set the stage for His
life and ministry.
Charles Green, chairman of
the Network of Christian Ministries, shares the exciting
signs of unity he's seeing.
Also, our annual Christmas
story, along with other features to help you celebrate
the joy of the season.
All in the December New
Here, obviously, we are in the
presence of a joy that man cannot know unless he is related to
God, the source of such joy. The
Thessalonians were enduring
suffering, yet they were filled
with joy because of the glorious
stimulus of the Holy Spirit's witness to the truth of the gospel.
Relationship to the transcendent enables people to be joyful
in the midst of trial. The writer
to the Hebrews says:
You sympathized with those
in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of
your property, because you
knew that you yourselves had
better and lasting possessions (Heb. 10:34 NIV).
This is strange ground for the
man who is an earth dweller and
bound by earth's horizons. But
for the person who has entered into a relationship with God and is
not bounded by time or circumstances, and who is an heir of God
and a joint heir with Jesus Christ,
it is possible to suffer with joy the
loss of the temporary and transitory as he tightens his embrace
on those things that are eternal
and unchanging.
There are many other scriptures that point to this paradox,
and undoubtedly many of us who
are Christians could write our
own list as we think of the times
when disappointment and adversity could have crushed us if we
were not joined to God through
Christ. But in the midst of the
adversity we know that God has
redeemed us, that He is caring
for us, and that He has ensured
our future. Therefore, we experience great joy as we consider
and realize how blessed we are to
be a part of God's community of
Corporate Joy
One final aspect of Christian
joy often overlooked is that not
only is it highly personal and
private but to be fully orbed, it
must also be relational, or corporate. The Scriptures seem to
make it clear that we 1:10 not rejoice alone, but that we belong to
a community of joy.
We belong to a fellowship of
happiness, and in this blessed
company we share our situations
and "rejoice with those who rejoice" and " mourn with those
who mourn" (Rom. 12:15 NIV).
Mourning is probably the exception, as joy is the rule of the
Christian life. But there are
times in the Christian life when a
fellow believer ' is enduring distressing circumstances, as in the
loss of a loved one, that we enter
relationally into his temporary
sadness, knowing that "weeping
may endure for a night, but joy
cometh in the morning" (Ps. 30:5).
Therefore, our joy is not a
selfish joy but a shared joy, and
probably we can all testify to
times of great spiritual exhilaration found in the company of fellow believers. At such times we
experience heights of corporate joy
that seem to be foretastes of the
great ultimate intention of God in
bringing His people into His presence, glorified and complete in
Him. As we speak of relational
joy we are probably touching on a
legitimate joy source that we
have not sufficiently appreciated.
In 2 Corinthians chapter 7,
The redeemed community
must be careful to maintain
righteous relationships and
the pursuit of peace among
its members, that joy might
be in constant and full
Paul speaks about the return of
Titus after his visit with the Corinthians, and says that he and
his companions were comforted
not only by the joy of seeing Titus
... but also by the comfort you
had given him. He told us
about your longing for me,
your deep sorrow, your ardent
concern for me, so that my joy
was greater than ever (2 Cor.
7:7 NIV).
It was a great joy to Paul to
have his young associate Titus
back with him, but even greater
joy was experienced as Titus
brought expressions and affirmations of love for Paul from the
Personally, I can think of no
greater joy than that of seeing
men and women coming to Jesus
Christ and becoming a part of the
community, and then watching
them grow in God. There comes to
mind at this moment the names of
many who have been a source of
great relational joy as I've witnessed their steady growth in
God, and have felt the joy of
knowing that God used me to
play some small part in their
lives. Perhaps we underestimate
the joy of our fellowship with one
another and need to cultivate it
more, not only for the sake of increasing the joy of others, but for
the great corporate joy of the
Christian company that in turn
brings joy to the heart of God.
Paul makes reference to this
kind of joy in a letter to the
How can we thank God enough
for you in return for all the joy
we have in the presence of our
God because of you? (1 Th. 3:9
A great source of Paul's joy
was the people whom he had been
instrumental in bringing to
Christ and nurturing tow'a rd
Christian maturity.
Writing to the Philippians, he
shows the place that joy should
play in the corporate community
when he exhorts them, "Finally,
my brothers, rejoice in the Lord!"
(Phil. 3:1 NIV). Unquestionably,
a major component of the character of the Christian community
is its togetherness in joy. When
joy is missing, peace has been
disturbed, indicating a flaw somewhere in the corporate righteousness. The redeemed community
must be careful to maintain righteous relationships and the pursuit of peace among its members,
that joy, the end product of the
kingdom of God, might be in constant and full manifestation.
Likewise, in our individual
lives, we must maintain a righteous relationship with the Lord
to experience His joy.
"The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the
Holy Spirit." 0
lWebster's New Twentieth Century
Dictionary (Cleveland and New York:
The World Publishing Company, 1973),
p. 989.
Ern Baxter, a longtime leader in the
charismatic renewal, is a member of
the Integrity Communications Board
of Directors. He and
his wife, Ruth, live
in San Diego, California, where he is
--'"'"--_~ involved with South
Coast Christian Fellowship. His time is
divided between working with the fellowship and traveling in ministry.
ow blessed are the
people who know
the joyful sound!"
(Ps. 89:15 NAS).
And the angel said to them,
"Do not be afraid; for behold, I
bring you good news of a great
joy which shall be for all the
people" (Lk. 2:10 NAS).
The joyful sound of the psahnist and the good news of the
angel was the prophetic announcement that God's government had been established on the
earth in the person of His Son,
Jesus. Those who receive the
proclamation and submit to the
rule of the Son have truly heard
the joyful sound. Through their
holy living-not merely their salvation-they live a life full of joy.
All Christians have access to
this joy, and many have experienced it, but the key issue for us
is once we have it, not to let it get
An Everlasting Covenant
God makes an everlasting covenant with all who joyfully receive
the announcement of Christ's government and submit to the commands of the King. Psahn 89 tells
of the covenant that God made
with David and his sons, which is
a prophetic foreshadowing of the
Lord Jesus and those who would
believe in His name. The most
important aspect of this covenant is God's promise that it will
last forever. Even if we break the
terms of the covenant, God
promises to remain faithful to it:
"If his sons forsake My law,
and do not walk in My judgments, if they violate My
statutes, and do not keep My
commandments, then 1 will
visit their transgression with
the rod, and their iniquity
with stripes. But 1 will not
break off My lovingkindness
from him, nor deal falsely in
My faithfulness" (vv. 30-33
The scripture doesn't say, "If
his sons forsake My law, 1 will
cut them off and send them to
hell." But God is often pictured
as a kind of a big bearded ogre
with a huge hatchet in His hand,
who stands waiting for us to fail.
And if we do, He's ready for us!
He cuts us off, and we are finished. Over the years 1 have
counseled literally hundreds of
people who felt they had committed the unpardonable sin and
were forever cut off from God.
I'm glad that the people who
don't understand God's grace
aren't in charge of the Lamb's
Book of Life. 1 can hear them
now: "I saw what you were doing. 1 saw you smoking. That's
all for you! I'll take your name
right out of my book! "
But notice that the scripture
says, "If his sons forsake My
law ...1 will visit their transgression with the rod" (a rod, not a
hatchet). God says He will bring
discipline, but He won't take His
mercy from us. The body of
Christ needs to understand that
God's discipline does not cancel
His covenant but corrects unrighteous behavior so that we
can walk in the "righteousness,
peace, and joy of His kingdom!"
(see Romans 14:17). When we submit to His discipline, we once
again receive the announcement
of His government with great joy.
We Must Love Righteousness
When God disciplines us, He's
trying to teach us something
about His joy and its relationship
to righteousness. Hebrews 1:9
says, "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore
God, even thy God, hath anointed
thee with the oil of gladness above
thy fellows." The word iniquity
makes us think of bank robbers
and grandmother beaters. But
that is not what is involved here.
Lawlessness means going our
own way. It means acting as a
man without law: "I don't want
anyone to tell me what to do. 1
don't want to be restricted. 1
want to be free! "
Lawlessness is a real issue we
face in our society. But Jesus,
the King of God's kingdom, has
another way: His yoke.
"See this hole?" He asks me.
"What is that? " 1 ask.
"Just put your head in the
hole. "
"I don't want to put my head
in the hole!" 1 protest.
"Now, Bob, this is My yoke."
"It's all right. My yoke is easy
and My burden is light."
"But It's a yoke! "
"Put your head in. "
The yoke is a symbol of God's
law. One of the great problems of
our generation is that we have
not understood what Jesus
meant when He said, "Do not
think that 1 came to abolish the
Law or the Prophets; 1 did not
come to abolish, but to fulfill"
(Mt. 5:17 NAS).
The oil of joy, or the oil of
gladness, spoken of in Hebrews
1:9 is given without measure to
the person who learns this important lesson: to hate lawlessness
and to love righteousness. 1 don't
mean we should tolerate or endure righteousness. 1 mean we
should love it and at the same
time hate lawlessness. When 1
say, "Lord, 1 love righteousness," the Lord's response is, "If
you continue to do that, 1'11 pour
My joy all over you."
God's Proposition
To help us further understand
how discipline and joy are related, let's take a closer look at
the covenant God makes with
each of His children. When 1 received Christ as my Savior, 1
came to God and ratified a covenant. He offered me a proposition, saying, "If you believe My
How to capture and hold on to it
When sin comes
into our lives, out
go our
peace, and joy.
The result is that
we're more
miserable than
Son died on the cross for your
sins, you will be saved."
To this proposition, I enthu-.
siastically responded, "It's a
deal! I do."
And the Lord said, "I do."
My covenant with the Lord
was like a marriage. I've never
seen an unhappy marriage ceremony-they've all been wonderful. It's living together afterward
that gets a little rough!
When we make our commitment to the Lord, He slips a ring
called the baptism in the Holy
Spirit on our finger. It's a sign
and a seal (see Ephesians 1:13-14)
that lets everyone know we belong to Him.
"Wow! Look at that ring!" I
lovingly gush in the enthusiasm
of the marriage ceremony. "It
looks like the bottom of a soft
drink bottle. Seven carats, glory
to God!"
I've made my commitment. I've
got my ring on. But now the adjustment starts.
"Bob," the Lord says to me,
"now we've got to work out how
you and I are going to relate and,
Bob, I am the Lord, and I don't
I think if I had known about
that, I would have approached
my commitment with a little
more caution! But like most others, when I got saved I jumped in
with both feet. I said, "I'll take it
all, thank you-salvation, water
baptism, baptism in the Holy
Spirit, and whatever else has
been provided!"
A Big Rubber Band
As the Lord begins to work in
me and make certain adjustments in our relationship, it's important for me to remember that
the covenant He made with me is
binding. He's going to keep His
Word, and I can't get away.
"That's scary. I don't want to
be a Christian anymore!"
"That's all right," the Lord
says. "I'll be waiting for you."
Some people have known the
Lord, gone away from Him, and
are now back with Him. They
didn't go back because of their
faithfulness, but because God's
covenant love is like a big rubber
band. When we made our commitment to the Lord, He took the
rubber band from His heart and
stretched it around our heartand we were linked. We may try
to run off, but one day we'll come
snapping back home again.
We need to understand this
rubber band as it relates to backsliders. Our hope is in God's eternal covenant. Every parent with
a wandering child and every
mate with a backslid partner
needs to see and pray for the big
rubber band! It will snap people
back, out of the direction and
bondage in which they are
Once while I was talking to a
minister's son, he graphically described for me how God's covenant love functioned in his own
life. He spoke of a dedicated dad
and mom who trusted God for
him. One evening while at a
rather wild party, where he had
been drllllcing and had smoked
some marijuana, the presence of
the Holy Spirit came down over
him. Suddenly, he heard himself
speaking in an unknown language, and tears and repentance
followed in floods of joy. Others
at the party were undisturbed"like he was doing his own
thing!" He told me that the continuous sense of God's love was
what finally broke him. The rubber band of God's covenant love
brought another prodigal home
to the joy of the Father's house.
Kingdom Living
Some people might say, "Bob,
you're teaching people to presume on God's grace." No, I
would never do that. Actually,
the challenge is to learn how to
rest in His grace if we're ever going to go on in God. We have to
- have a good, clear foundation in
the covenant love of God Almighty given to us in His Son.
His covenant says, "My love is
built to last forever."
God's unshakable love and
His virtually unbreakable covenant exist to bring us into Kingdom living, which is a consistent
walk with Him in righteousness,
peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Our flesh, our will, and our perNOVEMBER 1985
sonal desires are the biggest
obstacles to our walk with Him
and that is where He must make
the necessary adjustments in our
lives. Notice what Paul says to
the Galatian Christians:
If we love
and hate iniquity,
we'll never lack
joy in our lives.
But I say, walk by the Spirit,
and you will not carry out the
desire of the flesh. For the
flesh sets its desire against the
Spirit, and the Spirit against
the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that
you may not do the things that
you please (Gal. 5:16-17 NAS).
That means there are restrictions; there are laws. It means
that God has a will, a purpose, a
revelation, for our lives.
But if you are led by the
Spirit, you are not under the
Law. Now the deeds of the
flesh are evident, which are:
immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities,
s~rife, jealousy, outbursts of
anger, disputes, dissensions,
factions, envyings, drunkenness, carousings, and things
like these, of which I forewarn
you just as I have forewarned
you that those who practice
such things shall not inherit
the kingdom of God (vv. 18-21
The scripture doesn't say,
" ... shall not go to heaven." Some
people may not like this, but if
God sends ev~ryone to hell who
has jealousy in their heart, only a
few of us are going to be left.
Flesh Is Flesh
After so many years of preaching the gospel and ministering to
people with problems, I have
come to the conviction that human beings are adept at getting
themselves in jams so complicated that only God could get
them out.
Flesh is flesh whether it's
saved or unsaved. When a Christian gets angry and kicks the
grill out of his neighbor's car, his
sin is no different from that of his
unsaved neighbor who gets mad
and kicks the grill out of the
Christian's car. If a Christian
commits adultery, his sin is no
different from that of the unbeliever who commits adultery. If a
Christian is jealous, angry, or
tells lies, his sin is no different
from that of the unsaved person
who does those things.
It took me years to finally admit that Christians lie. I didn't
believe that Christians would
ever lie. I thought that when people got saved, they went to the
altar, and the Lord reached down
and pulled their "liar" out.
There is no question that He
does reach down and pull some
things out. Before I met the
Lord, I smoked nearly three
packs of cigarettes a day. When I
met the Lord, He reached down
in me and released me from the
desire to smoke. I now wish He
would have pulled some other
things out as well. Others with
whom I have talked wish He
would pull their "smoker" out.
Paul writes, "Those who prac-
tice sueh things shall not inherit
the kingdom of God. " He's not
talking about heaven. If we're
Christians with jealousy in our
hearts, we'll still go to heaven
when we die. There's no place
else for us to go. We're redeemed
by the blood of Jesus, saved by
His grlace. We are not talking
about going to heaven; we are
talking about Kingdom living,
. the joy experienced when we're
walking under the government of
God. The issue is hating lawlessness and loving righteousness,
and reeeiving an abundance of
His joy poured out upon us.
When we walk under God's government, we have righteousness,
peace, and joy resident in our
A Closer Look
To slee the real problem, let's
take a closer look at the Christian
with jealousy in his heart. Does
this sound familiar? I've just finished reading my Bible and I 'm
all full of joy. I head out the door
to go to work, and my neighbor
drives by in a shiny ,new Oldsmobile Ninety-eight. I'm driving a
1952 Volkswagen, better known by
some as a "little Nazi footlocker!"
New Orleans
Conference Planned
for July 1987
The North American General Congress on the Holy Spirit and World Evangelization
will be held July 22-25.1987. in
New Orleans.
Ten years after the Kansas
City Conference on Charismatic Renewal in the Christian
Churches. which was attended
by some 45.000 people. up to
75.000 believers will gather to
hear well-known Christian leaders speak on the Holy Spirit and
evangelism. The conference will
attract Spirit-filled Christians
from all backgrounds. including
Catholic charismatics. classic
Suddenly. for some reason. all
the joy I had just a few moments
earlier is gone. My neighbor and
I work at the same plant and
draw approximately the same
salary and yet....
When jealousy comes in, out
go righteousness. peace. and joy.
I stand there saved. but full of jealousy. and I say through clenched
teeth, "Oh. I'm so glad for you!"
Now, I have added a lie to my
jealousy. The result is that I'm
more miserable than ever. Saved.
but miserable. I get in my little
car. head for work, and in my
frustration hit all the red lights.
Suddenly there's an outburst of
Beeeeeep! beeeep! "Get that
thing out of.... "
Jealousy. lying, and anger have
replaced righteousness. peace.
and joy in the Holy Spirit-all. let
me repeat, in a Christian.
Then. I arrive at work. For
weeks I've been testifying to
everyone all around the plant.
Pentecostals. denominational and
nondenominational charismatics. and evangelicals.
Prior to the 1987 meeting. a
leaders' congress will take place
October 8-11. 1986. in New Orleans. Some 10.000 people are
expected at that gathering.
The conferences are sponsored by the North American
Renewal Services Committee.
Vinson Synan is chairman of
the steering committee organizing the meetings.
Further information on the
conferences will be published in
upcoming issues of New Wine. 0
but now what do they see come
steaming through the door?
But in spite of the lack of righteousness, peace, and joy in my
life. I still haven't broken covenant with God. It's like a marriage: People can fight and still be
married. They've got a covenant.
Anger doesn't break the covenant. nor does lying. The Lord
didn't say. "Thou shalt not lie,"
because He wants to get us in
trouble. Anyone knows that if we
were allowed to lie, we could on
many occasions stay out of trouble!
"Son. who dented the fender
on my car?"
"I don't know. Dad. It must
have been a demon."
The Lord says not to lie because He loves us. The Lord
knows that if we tell one lie, we'll
have to tell another one, then a
third one to cover up the first
two, and then a fourth one to
cover up the first three. Then
we've got to remember all four.
When a lie comes into our life,
out go righteousness. peace. and
joy. They just move outside and
wait for us to repent. for us to
say. "Lord. Lord. I have lost my
joy. I feel miserable. My peace is
gone. Please help me."
When we do. the Lord comes
and says, "If you want your
righteousness, peace. and joy
restored, go to your father and
say, 'I'm the one who dented the
fender.' "
"But. Lord. that's not going
to restore my joy. That's going
to break my neck!"
"Well. that's the proposition."
"Then, I don't want it. You
don't know my dad."
"Okay." the Lord says. and
He steps aside, waiting, but taking His joy with Him.
As He walks away panic
strikes. "On second thought,
Lord. I'm ready .... Dad. I'm the
one who dented your car."
"I know. Son." he says. "I've
been waiting for you."
"Dad, I really am sorry."
"Now. Son, it's not a matter of
forgiveness. I forgave you before
you even repented. What I want
you to do now is a little thing
called restitution."
"I'm going to take the financial profit from your paper route
for the next four months, and
you can help with the repair bill."
"That's not in the Bible, Dad.
The Bible says. 'Freely you
receive, freely you give.' "
"That's one text. But the Bible also says some things about
.how to handle the property of
others. and what it means to lie.
You need to learn a lesson here
about Christian character." It's
not a matter of whether we're going to heaven or not. It's a matter of whether we're living in the
kingdom of God.
I've learned not to trade my
joy for a dented fender. I've
learned not to trade my joy for
the strong pleasure of getting
jealous over a new Oldsmobile.
It's not worth it.
Some churches are miserable
because of factions, envy, and
jealousy. They're not going to
hell. In fact, it has often puzzled
me why every time a church
splits, the Lord goes to both
groups. I wish He wouldn't do -b::--"'=....:::;:;~~~~==~ iii
that, but He does-because of
His covenant love. Although we
are unfaithful, He is still faithful.
"Holy to the Lord"
God disciplines us when we
sin and yet remains faithful to
His covenant for a reason. I believe that because of the Lord's
discipline of His people, the day
is upon us when the righteousness, peace, and joy of the
kingdom of God will spread
through us into the world. It
should be evident that we need to
have joy to give it.
In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the
horses, "Holy to the Lord. "
And the cooking pots in the
Lord's house will be like the
bowls before the altar. And
every cooking pot in J erusalem and in Judah will be holy to the Lord of hosts; and all
who sacrifice will come and
take of them and boil in them.
And there will no longer be a
Canaanite in the house of the
Lord of hosts in that day
(Zech. 14:20-21 NAS).
The Lord is waiting for the
day when " holy to the Lord" is
inscribed on everything we do
because He has written His laws
in our hearts.
Some time ago I met a man
named Gary who works for a
rather large trucking business. I
could see in my mind "Holiness
to the Lord" inscribed on each
one of those trucks. But I wondered what would happen if one
of the truck drivers came to Gary
and asked him to change the
mileage on a report. "It was sixNEW WINE
teen thousand, but I need you to
change it to fourteen thousand or
I'm going to get in trouble. "
But before Gary could say
anything, the Lord would jump
in. "Don't falsify that report,
Gary! "
" I can't do it, " Gary would
tell that big burly truck-driver.
"Why not?"
" Because I'm more afraid of
God than I am of you. And besides, I wouldn't trade my joy for
anything!" In response to Gary's
integrity, God stamps "Holiness
to the Lord" on the truck and
gives Gary an abundance of joy.
It's God's Kingdom reward.
If we love righteousness and
hate iniquity, God will pour on us
the oil of joy and the anointing of
gladness. We will never lack an
abundance of joy as we continue
to do His will. Joy, understood in
Kingdom terms, affects us in
every facet of life. All of us long
to be able to take the message of
Christ and His kingdom to a peo-
pIe saturated with religion. Let
the Lord take you into His gymnasium and train you in the ways
of His righteousness, His peace,
and especially His joy. 0
Bob Mumford has served as dean of Elim
Bible Institute in Lima, N ew York, and
as a pastor, evangelist, and seminar
teacher. Bob, who travels widely in ministry to Christians of all backgrounds, has
also written a number of books about the
Christian life. He is a member of the Integrity Communications Board of D irectors and resides in San Rafae~ California,
with his wife, Judy, and their family.
For Further Study
If you are interested in more indepth teaching on this subject, Bob
Mumford has a four-tape series
available that is an expanded version of this message. In it, he offers
additional insight into the Christian's joy. See page 19 to order" Joy:
The Mark of Maturity."
Bob Mumford talks about the Christian's highest calling.
Have you desired to move
from praising
God into the
deeper realms
of worship on
a consistent
basis? In this new tape, Bob
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you can begin to use right
As you start praising the
Lord, do you ever wrestle
with wandering thoughts or
become distracted by outside influences? You are not
alone. Bob shares with you
how he himself overcomes
these problems. You will
find a new release for your
spirit as Bob takes you step
by step from the moment
you begin to praise God.
You will understand worship in a new way. Bob
shows you that worship is a
skill that needs to be
learned. He helps you begin
not only to praise God for
His acts, but also to worship God for who He is.
The fruit of your worship
will be that the Father will
be pleased and your spirit
will be deeply satisfied.
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How to Worship
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Joy: The Mark of Maturity
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"Lord, I'll Never
This computer.
Under the pressure of .a new job and caring for her
terminally ill mother, a woman finds God's joy.
tightened my grip on the
steering wheel as I headed
home from another difficult
day at my new job. After seventeen years of being a wife and
homemaker, I had begun a parttime job that required working
on a computer. Learning to use it
was the most frustrating experience I'd ever had. I had never
even been in the same room with
a computer, and now I had to
know how to work one!
As I drove along, in my weariness I asked God why He would
choose someone as unqualified as
me for this particular job. But
this unanswered question had to
wait as I got closer to my home
and prepared myself for an even
greater task waiting for me
there. My sister and I were taking care of my mother, who was
extremely ill.
Eighteen months earlier the
doctors had discovered breast cancer, and she went through surgery, radiation treatment, and
chemotherapy. We were sure that
she'd be fine, but our hopeful outNOVEMBER 1985
look began to dim when the doctor informed us that the cancer
had spread to her liver. There
was no cure for this cancer, so it
was only a matter of time before
it would take her life. She continued chemotherapy treatments
to slow the cancer's progress, but
as the days passed, we could tell
that the treatments were not helping, and her condition deteriorated
Help Me, Lord!
The pressure of a new job and
the stress of caring for my mother in the final stages of her painful disease left me physically
exhausted. !J began to cry out to
God for an impartation of His
strength to meet my needs. In
the midst of this struggle, the
song "The Joy of the Lord Is My
Strength" once again came to
mind, as it had so often during
the past weeks. I thought ,about
the, scripture in Nehemiah 8:10
where the song came from, and
determined to give it more attention during my prayer time with
the Lord the next morning.
To me, that scripture had
always meant that my joy and
my strength were somehow coupled together. I believed that if I
could be joyful enough, I could
obtain the strength I needed. But
the Lord showed me something
totally different about joy. "Look
at the verse carefully," He said.
"Does it say, 'Your strength is
your joy' or does it say, 'The joy
of the Lord is your strength'?" I
reread the verse and was surprised
to find that I had misunderstood it
for years.
The Lord often uses diagrams
to teach me, and He gave me a
graphic illustration of the origins
of joy. He showed me a circle with
"hearing, faith, and obedience"
written at the top. On the right
was written "the joy of the Lord"; ,
on the bottom, "strength"; and on
the left, "personal joy." He
showed me that when I hear Him
G FAITH , 08
'?'-\~ ,
With this diagram, Evelyn Laird
saw the true meaning of, " The joy
of the Lord is your strength. "
and obey Him, it gives Him joy.
His joy then produces strength
in me, which in turn produces joy
in me. That brings me back to
the top of the circle, where I am
ready and eager to obey Him
again. When I obey Him and experience new strength and joy, I
have more faith to be obedient
when He speaks to me the next
time. I realized that to live in
perpetual joy I had to be
perpetually obedient to Him.
Shortcircuiting God
I knew I needed divine
strength to get through this time
in my life, and God showed me
that the only way I could get it
was by being obedient to Him.
There was no way around it. After learning this principle, I discovered if I tried to develop joy
on my own, I would have to cut
across the circle or go counterclockwise around it. In so doing I
would be choosing my own path
and shortcircuiting God's strength
in my life. He would not be
joyful, and I would lose His
strength and begin to operate in
my own. As a result, I would experience depression, a lot of negative attitudes, and exhaustion.
I t made good sense to me, and
I knew of a perfect situation to
try it out on-learning how to use
the computer at work. The first
thing I did was repent of my lack
of trust in God's direction and
lack of faith that He had given
me the ability to learn. In that
simple act of repentance, my confidence was restored. I discovered when I returned to work the
next day that my mind had a new
capacity for learning. God had
put me there to serve Him, and in
obeying Him, I was freed forever
from the frustration and intimidation of the computer.
God graciously taught me this
important lesson about joy because He knew I would soon need
it more than ever. One month
after the computer conquest, a
series of events occurred that
could have left me devastated.
My husband, Sam, had a heart
attack, and I needed an extra
dose of divine strength to get
through that time. A month later
my mother passed away, and
shortly after that my grandmother died. And to top it all,
just before my son graduated
from high school, he developed a
severe case of mononucleosis. I
could have stoically stood in my
own strength, or tried to muster
my own joy to get through that
intense time, but applying God's
lesson of His joy and strength
brought me through.
I have learned the importance
of listening to and obeying the
Lord's direction in everythingboth large and small. When the
Lord rejoices in the midst of His
people, He gives to them His
strength to accomplish every impossible task. 0
Evelyn Laird is financial secretary for
Gulf Coast Covenant
Church in Mobile,
Alabama, where she
and her husband, ·
Sam, live with their
Any of us can learn from those Jesus called the
"Least of These"
he "least of these" is a
term used by Jesus to
describe people who are
normally considered deprived. The
naked. The hungry. The outcast.
They are the ones to whom we
give, not from whom we receive.
That they are able to bestow
upon us unique and valuable
gifts never occurs to many. As a
recipient, I know differently. In
ways so subtle imd subjective
they are difficult to describe, our
son-one of the least of thesehas taught me some of the most
profound lessons I've learned.
Treg was born July 4, 1974.
My wife, Jeanne, and I adopted
him when he was six days old. He
was our first, and after waiting
ten years for a child, we were so
thrilled and in love with him we
never noticed what was obvious
to others. He wasn't developing
like other children his age and
was, in fact, a brain-damaged
When we first heard the diagnosis, we determined to do everything we could to give him a full,
happy life. We wanted to affect
him in a positive way and to develop his full potential. Little did
we realize how much that small,
vulnerable boy would affect and
challenge our lives.
An area where he has challenged me is one that most Christians find quite difficult: letting
the spirit rule the mind. Although it is a struggle for me,
I've seen it happen easily in him.
I first became aware of Treg's
spiritual sensitivity when he was
two or three years old. We would
place records on the stereo and he
would climb into his favorite
chair to listen. Frequently, the
records would be Christian music
performed by a variety of artists.
Some of it was worship music;
some was simply entertainment.
I began noticing a pattern.
When Treg would hear one of the
worship albums, he would immediately go to his chair, where
he would sit, rocking through the
entire record. If the next record
was worship, he would stay and
listen to it as well. If it wasn't, he
would go elsewhere to play. When
another worship album would begin playing, he would return.
Intellectually, he had no way
of knowing one album or artist
from another. His only guide
was his spirit, and in almost
eleven years he hasn't failed to
distinguish between worship
music and entertainment.
We have a standard joke
around our house that explains
another way my son has challenged me. It goes like this: Marcus, our other son, gets the toy;
Treg gets the box.
Watching him play contentedly with a piece of wrapping
paper reminds me that satisfaction comes from within, not
from the latest gadget or style.
It reminds me that peace is not
found in possessions but in
simplicity, that covetousness
and greed are their own punishment. His contentment makes
me painfully aware of my own
lack of it.
The Lord has used young Treg Goetz,
right, to teach his family much.
More than anything else, my
son has challenged me to see
that true value is found not in
productivity but rather in being.
To an age enamored with superstars and intelligence, his existence is a slap in the face. To a
society that considers the removal of the nonproductive as a
right, he is a stinging reminder
of genuine worth and qignity.
His life is a statement from
heaven. He stands as a prophet
in the midst of moral chaos and
proclaims the heart of God.
Who could ask more of a son?
Not I. My wish is that I might
stand by his side and do the
The world calls my son handicapped and decides that he will
llever produce much of valuecertainly, that he will never teach
another. But that isn't true. I
know that God chooses the foolish to confound the wise, the weak
to shame the strong, the vulnerable to touch the hardened. I
know that if we choose to, any of
us can learn from those whom
Jesus calls the "least of these." 0
Tom Goetz is a New Wine reader who
lives in Spokane, Washington.
Heaven rejoices when the Church becomes
The Lost and Found Department
nd both the Pharisees
and the scribes began
to grumble... " (Lk. 15:2
When we invent a word by imitating the natural sound associated with the object or action
involved, it's called onomatoNEWWINE
poeia. Tinkle and buzz are good
examples-the tinkle of a bell
and the buzz of a bee. The verse
above has a classic example of
onomatopoeia. It's the Greek
word for "grumble" ; notice what
the word grumble does to your
face when you speak it. It tends
to wrinkle the forehead, compress the eyebrows, and turn
down the corners of the mouth.
It"s not a very pleasant word in
English but in the Greek it's
worse. The Greek word is gogguzo. Imagine the scribes and
Pharisees as they murmured
against Jesus: "This man receives
sinners and eats with them, and
He's supposed to be the Messiah?
Gogguzo, gogguzo, gogguzo.... "
Jesus' response to the scribes
and Pharisees was to tell them
three short parables. The first
was about the lost sheep:
"What man among you, if he
has a hundred sheep and has
lost one of them, does not
leave the ninety-nine in ' the
open pasture, and go after the
one which is lost, until he finds
it? And when he has found it,
he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes
home, he calls together his
. friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me,
for I have found my sheep
which was lost!' I tell you that
in the same way, there will be
more joy in heaven over one
sinner who repents, than over
ninety-nine righteous persons
who need no repentance" (Lk.
15:4-7 NAS).
He then tells them the parable
of the woman who rejoices upon
finding the coin that was lost,
and says, "In the same way, I tell
you, there is joy in the presence
of the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (v. 10 NAS).
Finally, there is the parable of
the father and prodigal son. Notice the words of the father to the
elder brother:
"But we had to be merry and
rejoice, for this brother of
yours [and I imagine Jesus using a sweeping gesture toward
the tax gatherers and sinners]
was dead and has begun to
live, and was lost and has been
found" (v. 32 NAS).
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The grumbling of the selfrighteous stands in stark contrast to another more important
aspect of these scriptures: the
joy of Jesus. His joy is the reason
the sinners and .tax collectors
were attracted to the one Isaiah
called, "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" (Is. 53:3
NAS). If our goal as Christians is
to become "like Christ," then we
must exemplify His joy. Rather
than grumbling and murmuring
like the scribes and Pharisees, we
must find the joy that overcomes
circumstances and display it to
those around us. We find that
kind of joy in the life of Jesus.
The Joy of Jesus
As we examine the Scriptures,
we find that Jesus often spoke of
joy. One of the most remarkable
passages is at the conclusion of
His teaching in John chapter 15,
where He teaches that He is the
vine and we are the branches. He
says, "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be .
in you, and that your joy may be
made full" (v. 11 NAS).
What is interesting is that
Jesus spoke this as the most difficult hour of His earthly sojourn
approached. The disciples were
competing for the number 1 slot;
Peter .was sulking because the
Master had questioned his commitment; Judas had gone out into the night, clutching the price
of betrayal in bis fist; Thomas
was still doubting; Philip was
questioning; and no one seemed
to have a clue as to what was going on. But Jesus said, "I have
said these things to give you My
As I read these words, I'm
puzzled. "Lord, how can You possibly be joyful? What gives You
that inner conviction that this
wretched place, this barren wilderness, this trying time, this
disappointment, is the opportune
moment to talk about joy? I
don't understand, Master. Please
take the scales from my eyes and
let me see clearly."
The Source of His Joy
To understand the source of
His joy, we need to expand the
context of these words a little
more. In John chapter 14, Jesus
tells the eleven about a place He
is preparing for them-a place
where He once lived, a place
where He will soon return. He
calls the place "My Father's
house," and says He is going
there to make room for them.
This is a secure place, a heavenly
place. It has always been so for
Jesus, and now He's making
room for many more guests. He
is saying, in effect, "What I'm
about to do for you will forever
make a place for you."
Then, John chapter 15 talks
about the vine and the branches,
a grafted place in the Lord Jesus.
The disciples would be like Him;
His life would flow through them;
and their growth and productivity would be supervised by the
Father Himself.
These two figures of speech,
the Father's house and the Father's vine, speak of the Lord's
joy in relationship. What He was
about to do would bring those He
loved into an eternal relationship
with Himself and His Father.
What He had always enjoyed
with the Father, He was bringing
His eleven friends to enjoy as
well. In all this we see the source
of the joy of Jesus: relationship.
In John chapter 17, our understanding of His joy increases as
we overhear His prayer to the
Father for the disciples. In verse
13, He says, "These things I
speak in the world, that they
may have My joy made full in
themselves" (NAS). He is returning home by way of the cross to
receive a crown of glory. He will
soon enter the presence of His
Father and now He prays "that
they may have My joy made full
in themselves."
Most social clubs are
organized to keep the joy
contained and
uncontaminated; not so
with the Father and Son.
The fullness of their joy
was based on Jthe more
the merrier."
Again, Jesus' joy is connected
to the relationship He had with
His Father. But it didn't stop in
knowing that He was returning
to His Father; His joy was also in
declaring that those who were
now with Him could enjoy the
same kind of relationship with
the Father He had known.
"Father, I have declared My
relationship with You in the
world that My joy-the joy of
what I have with You":"'will be
made full in those who get to
know Us" (verse 13, free translation). He also prays for those who
will come to know the joy He has
with His Father through the word
of the disciples (see verse 20).
Joy to the World
The joy of Jesus was joy He
had through unbroken fellowship
with the Father, but it went
much further than that. He
found eleven men to share His
joy and that increased what He
had with the Father a thousand
But the vine was even larger
than those eleven shoots; the
house had room for more than
eleven additions. Jesus was saying throughout the Gospel of
John, "I have declared Your holy, righteous name in the world
that joy might abound-not only
here, but in the whole earth!"
The fullness of joy shared by
Father and Son was the joy of
their fellowship expressed in the
earth in a way that would bring
an innumerable host of redeemed
sinners home to the Father. Jesus'
joy was the joy of reconciliation.
Paul writes: "God was in Christ
reconciling the world to Himself"
(2 Cor. 5:19 NAS). God was bringing a lost world into a fellowship
that was previously known only
by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
They weren't stingy about it, and
didn't feel threatened by it. Most
social clubs are organized to keep
the joy contained and uncontaminated; not so with the Father and
Son. The fullness of their joy was
based on "the more the merrier."
It pleased the Father to bring
many sons to glory (see Hebrews
Man was lost and
the creator groaned
until He could stand it
no longer and sent
His Son so that He
might find and bring
back that which was
Lost and Found
Man was lost and the creator
groaned until He could stand it no
longer and sent His Son in the
likeness of sinful flesh, not counting their trespasses against them
so that He might find and bring
back that which was lost (see Romans 8:3). The pain of losing something precious is something most
everyone can identify with. It's
much stronger and intense than
the emotions we feel when we
merely misplace something. I
misplace my car keys, sunglasses,
pens, and such on a regular basis.
But I lost my wallet once. I get
mad when I misplace something.
I get close to being physically sick
when I lose something I treasure.
We ran an article in the February issue of New Wine Magazine by William Watts, who told
the story of the loss of his wife's
wedding ring in the surf along
the shore of an ocean. The feelings of despair, the tears shed at
night, were for more than "just a
ring"; this was a family treasure,
a symbol of a precious covenant.
It was gone!
"Weeping may endure for a
night," but for the Watts family
"joy came in the morning" as
they spied two men with metal
detectors standing in the surf examining the ring they had found
buried under several feet of water
and half a foot of sand and silt.
"Rejoice with me; that which
was lost is found."
I remember a friend sharing
about the panic he felt when he
lost his youngest son in a shopping mall in Dallas. There were
endless shops and hallways and
thousands of people-all of them
"kidnapers." His son was missing! As he searched frantically,
he suddenly spied his lost, crying
little boy. "Rejoice with me; I
have found my son."
Jesus said, "I have declared
these things in the world for the
sake of My uncontainable joy"
(In. 17:13, free translation). "These
things" are more than the discussion with the eleven at the last
supper. John's entire Gospel was
written about the things Jesus
did that we might believe, and in
believing be restored to fellowship
with God. To see this reconciling
ministry, this uncontainable joy
of Jesus expressed in the world,
let's look at John's Gospel, beginning with the second chapter, and
watch as He brings sinful men
home to His Father.
Water Into Wine
In John chapter 2, the water is
changed into wine "and His disciples believed in Him" (v. 11
N AS). In John chapter 3, a ruler
of the Jews finds the door to the
kingdom of heaven. In John chapter 4, we meet a Samaritan "dog,"
a woman who brings a whole
town out to meet Jesus, saying,
"Come, see a man who told me all
the things that I have done"
(v. 29 NAS). In John chapter 5, a
lame man is healed, and in John
chapter 6, five thousand are fed.
A woman caught in the very
act of adultery, John chapter 8, is
forgiven, and in John chapter 9,
we pause to see a man blind from
birth receive his sight. This is his
simple testimony: "Whether He
[Jesus] is a sinner, I do not know;
one thing I do know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see" (v. 25
NAS). In 'John chapter 10, the
"good shepherd" lays down His
life for the sheep, and in John
chapter 11, a man is restored to
life after being in his grave for
four days. In John chapter 13,
Jesus gathers the disciples into a
room for a meal, and after washing their feet, says in John chapter 15, "Let Me give you My
"And both the Pharisees and
scribes began to grumble, saying, 'This man receives sinners
and eats with them' " (Lk. 15:2
N AS). But for Jesus it was His
joy. When sinners repented, diseases disappeared, and demons
fled, He could hear the angels
sing and feel the Father's heart
rejoice. And when He faced the
cross, He knew that in this final
act, lost men could find their way
into the fellowship the Father
had longed to see from the beginning of the world.
Has His joy become ours, or
do we sit self-righteously in an insulated little group, murmuring
about the terrible condition the
world has gotten into? Has He
not, in fact, loved and cared
especially for us that we might
this day fully enter into His joy?
If we truly have our
Master's joy-His
message of
reconciliation-then the
Church has in effect
become the lost and
found department of
the kingdom of God.
Brought Back to God
If we have truly been given
our Master's joy-His message
of reconciliation-then the
Church has in effect become the
lost and found department of the
kingdom of God. There should be
a sign in front of every church,
saying, "Lost and Found Department." If it's the "First Church,"
or "Main Street Church," the
desperate sinner might not get
the right idea. But if it's the
place where the "lost are found,"
hope springs up and sinners find
the joy of being brought back to
There was a television program called The Finder of Lost
Loves. The plots for the program
sprang from the idea that valuable relationships had been severed and that people who wanted
these relationships restored often
needed help in being reunited
with those who were the source
of their joy.
When the Church comes together, it does so as "the finder
of lost loves." The joy of its
ministry is seeing the lost found.
When the congregation gathers
for worship and fellowship, its
joy should know no bounds. The
joy of the angels, the Father, and
the Son combines with the joy of
the saints as sinners are brought
back to God . .
Barbecued Sinners
In the spirit of reconciliation .
and Jesus' joy, we once had a
sinner-for-dinner picnic at our
home. We didn't do anything
special except invite about fifty
neighbors over for barbecued
chicken. A friend who played in a
bluegrass band brought his
group over, and about thirty-five
of my neighbors came. I introduced myself as a new pastor in
town and said that I hoped we
would become friends, and if they
ever wanted to get together
again, we were available. It was
the opening of a door to that
I think if I listen carefully, I
can hear a distant " ... gogguzo,
gogguzo, gogguzo. That doesn't
sound like evangelism to me."
But the joy of Jesus was being
part of the process that brought
lost men back to the Father. Each
step in the process is cheered by
the heavenly hosts, and every sinner who repents and is converted
is cause for rejoicing in the
courts of the King.
In Acts 13:52, it says that as
the disciples preached the gospel,
they "were continually filled
with joy and with the Holy Spirit" (NAS). The joy of the disciples and the joy of Jesus was
the joy of running a lost and
found department, the joy of
bringing the lost into a relationship with the Father. One group
murmured; the other knew the
joy of the Master. We have been
given the message of reconciliation. We have been given the joy
of Jesus. 0
Bruce Longstreth graduated from Simpson
CoUege in San Froncisco and did graduate
study at Golden Gate Seminary, MiU Valley, California. Besides seroing as editor of
New Wine, Bruce is editor of Fathergram,
a newsletter ministry to fathers. He and
his wife, Janet, have two children.
How we can revitalize our daily time with the Lord
Part 2 of a 2.:.part series
any people desire a
better prayer life but
don't know how to
achieve it. When I obeyed the call
to pray, the Holy Spirit showed
me the secret of a strong prayer
life, which transformed my desire
without action to daily discipline,
and then to delight.
The secret is simple. What we
have traditionally called the Lord's
Prayer has become a model
prayer for me. In this prayer,
Jesus lists six. vital topics that
we should cover in our daily
prayer time. Last month, we examined the first three topics, and
this month we will look at the
final three.
Forgive Us Our Debts
Topic 4: "And forgive us our
debts, as we forgive our debtors"
(Mt. 6:12). Often in the first part
of our prayer time as we thank
our Father for the blood of Jesus,
the Holy Spirit points out a sin
that we need to confess, or someone we need to forgive. Although
we may deal with these specific
sins when they come to our attention, it is important to bring
our relationships and attitudes
before the Lord when we pray,
"Forgive us our debts." I do it
by repeating the prayer of
Search me, 0 God, and know
my heart: try me, and know
my thoughts: And see if there
be any wicked way in me, and
lead me in the way everlasting
(Ps. 139:23-24).
When something comes to mind,
I confess it and claim the promise of 1 John 1:9: "If we confess
our sins, he is faithful and just to
forgive us our sins, and to cleanse
us from all unrighteousness. " The
word confess in this verse means
"to speak the same thing." We
must agree with what God says
about our sin and be willing to
turn from it.
It is not sufficient, however,
that we only ask God to forgive
us. We must also forgive others
as often as we want to be forgiven. Immediately after giving
His model prayer, Jesus adds:
" For if ye forgive men their
trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But
if ye forgive not 'men their
trespasses, neither will your
Father forgive your trespasses" (Mt. 6:14-15).
In Matthew chapter 18, we
find a graphic illustration of this
principle. Peter asked Jesus,
"Lord, how oft shall my brother
sin against me, and I forgive him?
till seven times?" (v. 21). Peter
really felt anointed! He thought
that forgiving someone seven
times was exceedingly generous.
But Jesus' answer surprised
Peter. "I say not unto thee, until
seven times: but, until seventy
times seven" (v. 22).
Jesus taught that we must
forgive as many times as we are
offended, because that is how
many times the Lord is ready
and willing to forgive us. Jesus
then told a parable about forgiveness. A servant who owed a king
ten thousand talents-about ten
million dollars by today's standards-begged the king to have
patience with him, and the king,
moved with compassion, completely wiped away the debt. But
instead of being grateful, the servant went out and grabbed a man
who owed him a hundred penceabout twenty dollars-and insisted he pay his debt. When the
man said he couldn't, the servant
threw him into prison. The king
found out about the servant's actions, called him back, and turned
him over to the tormentors (see
verses 23-24).
Jesus used this parable to
teach at least four lessons: Firs,t,
our debt of sin against God is
greater than any debt anyone
will ever owe us. Second, when
we refuse to forgive another petson, we place that individual in
bondage. Third, we are to forgive
at the same level that we are forgiven by God. Fourth, if we
choose to keep a record of wrongs
and bear a grudge, we will live
with tormenting memories and
demonic oppression until we release the person and forgive.
Each morning as we pray,
"Forgive us our debts, as we
continued on page 32
\\For the Lord your God is bringing
you into a good land ... a land where
you shall eat food without scarcity, in
which you shall not lack anything .. ".
\\When you have eaten and arE~
satisfied, you shall bless the Lord your
God for the good land which He has
given you."
(Dt. 8:7, 9-10 NAS)
continued from page 28
forgive our debtors," we should
determine that we will forgive
those who wrong us that day. We
shouldn't wait until we are in the
heat of emotional conflict to
decide how we will react. If we
have already willed on our knees
to forgive, it is not so hard to
forgive when we are standing
face-to-face with someone who
has wronged us.
I would be the most bitter
thirty-four-year-old preacher in
the world if God had not indelibly written the message of forgiveness on my heart. When
Jesus forgave me, I in turn forgave my dad, who had been an alcoholic for twenty-five years. All
my unforgivingness and bitterness disappeared, and God saved
my dad two years later.
As we begin to forgive those
who have wronged us, we are
freed to experience new spiritual
liberty, victory, and joy.
Lead Us Not Into Temptation
Topic 5: "And lead us not into
temptation, but deliver us from
evil" (Mt. 6:13). When Jesus instructed the disciples to pray,
"Lead us not into temptation,"
He was telling them to pray that
forces beyond their control would
not lead them into trials. He was
also teaching them to watch and
pray against entering into temptation through their own carelessness or disobedience.
As Jesus faced the prospect of
the cross, He Himself prayed,
"Abba, Father, all things are
possible unto thee; take away
this cup from me: nevertheless
not what I will, but what thou
wilt" (Mk. 14:36).
In the garden of Gethsemane,
Jesus had cautioned the disciples
to pray lest they enter into temptation (see Luke 22:40). But when
He arose from a time of prayer,
He found them not praying, but
sleeping (see verse 45). Before the
Jesus knows' our
which is why
He instructed us
to pray, "Lead
us not into
night was over, at least one of the .
disciples gave in to temptation: .
Peter denied being Christ's disciple, swore he didn't even know
Him, and then wept bitterly because he had failed the Lord.
Jesus knows our potential
weaknesses also, which is why
He has instructed us to pray,
"Lead us not into temptation."
As children of God, we do not
have to learn everything the hard
way. We may be instructed,
warned, and trained by His Word
and the examples of others (see
1 Corinthians 10:11). God desires
for us to learn that way rather
than by discipline or difficult personal experience.
Jesus also taught His disciples to pray for deliverance from
evil. Specifically, as we through
prayer put on the whole armor of
God, we build a hedge of protec-
tion around ourselves and stand
firm in the victory Christ has
already won.
The armor of God is our only
defense against the wiles of the
devil. We must put on each piece
of armor, as outlined in Ephesians 6:14-17, by believing and
confessing the promises of God.
Each day, I prepare myself to
stand against Satan by girding
my loins with truth. "Jesus," I
pray, "You are my truth. You are
the way, the truth, and the life"
(see John 14:6).
I put on the breastplate of
righteousness, saying, "Jesus,
You became sin for me that I
might be made the righteousness
of God in Christ. You are my
righteousness" (see 2 Corinthians 5:21).
I place on my feet the preparation of the gospel of peace,
declaring, "Jesus, You are my
preparation-my readiness-for
I can do all things through Your
strength" (see Philippians 4:13).
I take the shield of faith, and
say, "Jesus, through Your name
I withstand the fiery darts of the
wicked. The life that I now live in
the flesh, I live by faith in You,
who loved me and gave Yourself
for me" (see Galatians 2:20).
I put on the helmet of salvation with, "Jesus, You are the
author of eternal salvation for all
who obey You. You cover my
head in the day of battle" (see
Hebrews 5:9 and Psalm 140:7).
I take the sword of the Spirit,
which is the Word of God, saying, "Jesus, You are the Word
that was made flesh and dwelt
among us. You are my living
Word" (see John 1:14).
This is how I begin each day:
putting on the Lord Jesus Christ
and readying myself to fight the
good fight of faith.
Next, I pray a hedge of protection about myself and my loved
ones, according to Psalm 91:2-3:
I will say of the Lord, He is my
refuge and my fortress, my
God, on Him I lean and rely,
and in Him I (confidently)
trust! For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the
fowler and from the deadly
pestilence (AMP).
Psalm 91 goes on to give us
three reasons why we can claim
God's protection. We can claim it
"because you have made the
Lord your refuge, and the Most
High your dwelling place" (v. 9
AMP). To invoke God's protection, we should make the Lord
our habitation. Psalm 22:3 says,
"But thou art holy, 0 thou that
inhabitest the praises of Israel."
As we sing praises to the Lord,
He dwells among us, enthroned
upon our praises. He inhabits our
We can claim God's protection
also "because he has set his love
upon Me" (Ps. 91:14 AMP). We
should set our love upon the
Lord. But we, like Martha in the
story of Luke chapter 10, are anxious and troubled about many
things, and forget the" one thing
that is needful": focusing our
love on Him. The Holy Spirit desires to help us set our love upon
the Lord: Then, we can cling to
Him in absolute trust and He
will be our protection.
Finally, we can claim protection "because he knows and understands My name" (v. 14 AMP).
We must know His name. Proverbs tells us, "The name of the
Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe"
,(Pr. 18:10). In Topic 1 of the
Lord's Prayer, we learned that
the Lord's name signifies not only who He is, but also what He
wants to be in our lives: righteousness, sanctification, peace,
presence, healer, provider, banner, and shepherd. We must submit to what He wants to do and
be in our lives, and acknowledge
that His name is a strong tower.
We should be certain each day
May we never
enter or leave the
Lord's presence
without offering
a sacrifice of
praise and
that we are walking in these
three bases for God's protection.
Then, we can stand in our armor
and declare by faith, "You are
my refuge, my fortress, my God.
In You do I trust." Clothed in
God's armor and encircled by
His hedge of protection, we can
stand secure in the victory Christ
has won for us.
For Thine Is the Kingdom
Topic 6: "For thine is the
kingdom, and the power, and the
glory, forever" (Mt. 6:13). As we'
examine the Lord's Prayer from
beginning to end, we discover
that it opens and closes with
praise. Praise is the most dynamic commandment in God's Word.
In the Old Testament, seven
levels of praise are expressed by
seven Hebrew words. Todah
means "to extend hands in
thanksgiving." Y adah is "to worship with extended hands, to
throw out the hands, enjoying
God." Hallal means "to be vigorously excited, to laud, boast,
rave, celebrate." Zamar means
"to pluck the strings of an instrument, to praise with song."
Barak is "to bless, to declare God
the origin of power for success,
prosperity, and fertility, to be
still." Tehillah is the word for
"singing in the Spirit" or "singing psalms." Shabach means "to
commend, to address in a loud
tone, to shout."
Obviously, the expression of
man's worship to God did not
originate in 1909 with the Pentecostal movement! Praise has always been a mark of the people of
God. Clearly, there are many acceptable ways to express our
love, gratitude, and worship of
Jesus instructs us to return to
praise after we have brought our
petitions before the Father. But
there is also significance in the
words He uses: "For Thine is the
kingdom, and the power, and the
glory forever."
Jesus said, "Fear not, little
flock; for it is your Father's good
pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Lk. 12:32). Paul, in Colossians 1:13-14, tells us that God
our Father has delivered us from
the power of darkness, and has
brought us ihto the kingdom of
His Son. When we pray, "For
Thine is the kingdom," we should
praise God because He has invited us to be participants in His
kingdom. We can declare: "The
Lord shall deliver me from every
evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom" (2 Tim.
The Lord has also made us
participants in His power. He
gives power to the faint (see
Isaiah 40:29). He gives us power
to attain wealth (see Deuteronomy 8:18). We are kept by the
power of God (see 1 Peter 1:5). He
will raise us up by His mighty
power (see 1 Corinthians 6:14).
Jesus promised:
"Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and
scorpions, and over all the
power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt
you" (Lk. 10:19).
He also said, "But ye shall
receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and
ye shall be witnesses unto me"
(Acts 1:8). We can praise God
because He has invited us to be
participants in His power.
Jesus also taught us to pray,
"For Thine is ... the glory." God's
glory is the manifested perfection of His character, especially
His righteousness. All men fall
short of God's glory (see Romans
3:23), but Jesus, through His suffering for the sins of mankind,
brought many sons unto glory
(see Hebrews 2:9-10).
As believers behold the glory
of the Lord-the character and
ways of God exhibited through
Christ-they are changed into
His image (see 2 Corinthians
3:18), and the character and ways
of the Father and Son are formed
within them. Is it any wonder
that Paul charges believers to
"walk worthy of God, who hath
called you unto his kingdom and
glory" (1 Th. 2:12)? We should
also praise God because He has
invited us to be participants in
His glory.
The kingdom, power, and glory
all belong to our Father. They're
all His, yet He shares them with
us, because of the provision of His
Son. The life blood of Jesus has
made all blessings possible. May
we never enter or leave the Lord's
presence without humbly bowing
before Him and offering a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
On to Delight
As we pray through these
As believers
behold the
glory of the
Lord, they are
changed into
His image, and
the character
and ways of the
Father and Son
are formed
within them.
topics outlined in the Lord's
Prayer, we soon find ourselves
easily tarrying an hour or more
with the Lord, and our prayer
time transforms from desire to
discipline to delight. It is God
who gives us the desire to pray.
Psalm 65 says, "Blessed is the
man whom thou choosest, and
causest to approach unto thee"
(v. 4). A holy desire comes from
deep within and causes us to say,
"I want to know You, Lord, more
than anything else in this world.
I'm going to discipline my flesh.
I'm going to get out of my bed
earlier in the morning and bow
my knees before You."
Some people tell me, "This
really sounds good, but I don't
have an hour to spend in prayer."
Everyone has an hour. We can
reorder our priorities and find an
hour to tarry with the Lord. If
one is not disciplined enough to
spend an hour in prayer, he
should spend as much time as he
can, adding to it all through the
day. He should ask God to make
prayer the top priority in his life.
Something supernatural happens when we begin to pray an
hour each day. Life takes on new
purpose as we set, maintain, and
pray our priorities. We discover
new dimensions of praise as we
make powerful declarations based
upon the Lord's names and promises. We experience God's abundant provision as we pray in our
daily needs. We enjoy new spiritualliberty and victory as we set
our will to extend love and forgiveness to those who hurt us.
And we experience divine safekeeping as we put on the whole
armor of God and pray the hedge
of protection about ourselves and
our loved ones. Prayer is no longer drudgery or ritual. Instead, it
is a dynamic, delightful encounter with the living Lord.
Let me encourage you to begin
today to fulfil the Holy Spirit's
deep desire within you for a consistent prayer life. Start now to
apply the principles set out in
these two articles and you will be
amazed at the dramatic increase
in the effectiveness of your
prayer ministry and the deepening of your relationship with the
Lord. 0
Bible verses marked AMP: Scripture
taken from the AMPLIFIED BIBLE,
Old Testament. Copyright © 1962, 1964
by Zondervan Publishing House. Used by
Larry Lea, pastor of
Church on the Rock
in Rockwall, Texas,
ministers on prayer
in churches across
the nation. He and
his wife, Melva,
have three children
and live in Rockwall.
For Further Study
Larry Lea has a seven-tape series.
from which this article was taken.
called "Could You Not Tarry One
Hour?" It's available from Church
on the Rock, and comes with a
l22-page study guide. To order. send
$35 to Church on the Rock, P.O. Box
880, Rockwall. Texas 7rnrr.
A cookie tycoon rounds up the neighborhood
Getting to Know
Our Neighbors
watched my perky pigtailed
four year old skip confidently out the door to sell cookies to the neighbors. Abby was
taking part in a school fundraising project that parents are
asked to help with each year.
As I watched her leave, I must
admit that I feared the outcome.
"0 Lord," I whispered, "You've
had experience in 'sales.' Please
don't let that little cheDlb be too
disappointed at the neighbors' responses. And if it be Thy will, let
her sell at least one box of
For three evenings my little
chatterbox joyfully went out on
sales calls all around the neighborhood. After the final evening,
she bounded into the family room,
plopped down on my lap, and
proudly announced, "Daddy, I
sold $400 worth of cookies. Isn't
that great?"
I was a mixture of emotions:
unbelief, pride, and awe.
My wife explained how it happened. She had gone with her
every night, but stayed out of
sight as Abby went up to the
door. All alone, that three-and-ahalf-foot, thirty-five-pound sales
dynamo met the neighbors and
boldly asked, "You wanna buy
some cookies?" I know I'm her
daddy, but who could refuse such
a sales pitch from an exuberant
little kid?
What impressed me the most,
however, was not the cookie sales
but the neighborliness of the
neighbors. People wanted to talk.
"Little girl, have we ever met you
before?" "Where do you live?"
"You're about my daughter's age.
How about you and her playing
together sometime?" And when
they spied Mom hiding behind a
tree, they wanted to get better
acquainted. It made me realize
that people don't really want to
be "left alone." They want to
meet the "people next door" -if
only they could find a way to
break the ice.
After the cookie sale episode,
my wife and I discussed ways we
could meet the neighbors. Some
we've tried; some have been done
by friends of ours. Here are a few
of them:
1. Sales. In addition to garage
sales and rummage sales, there
are housewares and art sales, and
cosmetic, health food, and vitamin parties. All are great ways to
get better acquainted · with our
neighbors. The selling isn't as important as the getting together.
2. Evening walk. Taking the
"tribe" around the block each
evening is another way to meet
people. After the neighbors see
us outside on a regular basis, it
won't be long before they wave
and strike up a conversation.
3. Helping hand. When new people move in, bake a loaf of bread
or stop by to find out if they need
anything. Be prepared to recommend the "butcher, baker, and
candlestick maker" most used by
the natives.
4. Recognition. A good reason to
subscribe to the local newspaper
(other than for the puppy or parakeet) is that our neighbors will
appear in it from time to time.
Stop by and offer congratulations or encouragement.
5. Fellowship meetings. PTA, Bible
study, self-help, and communityhelp meetings are great ways to
get neighbors together.
6. Community service. One man
I know volunteered to serve on a
pool committee, and in the process got acquainted with every
family within three blocks of his
7. Block party. Our family will
never forget the time we had a
cookout and invited the neighbors to come. Everyone brought
some food to share, and not only
did we meet the neighbors, but
the neighbors met other neighbors. It was great!
In a decade often characterized
as the "me" generation, we have
to make an extra effort to break
out of our own little world and
meet those around us. Fathers
who do it will benefit by it, their
families will benefit, and so will
their entire neighborhood. 0
Bruce Longstreth is editor of New Wine
and Fathergram.
"Tips for Fathers" is provided by
Fathergram, a monthly newsletter
that offers insights. tips. and testimonials for fathers who care about
their families. To subscribe. send
$9.95 (special price) to Fathergram,
P.O. Box Z. Mobile. AL 36616.
Few things are easier than finding fault
Crack Down
on Criticism!
recently read the exciting
biography of a famous pilot.
The life of this remarkable
man is almost like popular fiction. As a fighter pilot in World
War II, he was shot down by the
Germans, lived with the French
underground, made his way to
Spain, returned to his squadron,
and took to the skies once more
to shoot down twelve enemy
planes-five in one day. After the
war, he became one of America's
outstanding test pilots, eventually receiving the Medal of Honor
for his service to his country. He
is a true American hero.
My only problem with the
book is this: In telling his story,
he is needlessly critical of so
many lesser men. Not content
with lambasting his own critics (a
deplorable but completely understandable sin!), he repeatedly
goes out of his way to discredit
and demean men whose more
modest aviation careers reflect
certain weaknesses that displease him. As I read each additional volley of criticism and
faultfinding, I felt increasing regret, because with each such attack he seemed to diminish his
own stature. From such glorious
heights of personal achievement,
one rightly expects compassion
or at least tolerance for less
heroic men.
It may be that some of those
critical barbs were initiated by
the biographer who actually
wrote the book. The blurb on the
dust jacket identifies him as a
former reporter for a major daily
newspaper. My own experience
with reporters has often been unpleasant, sometimes leading me
to question the level of ethics in
the profession as a whole. But
that's a topic better discussed
another time; so back to the subject .at hand.
Frankly, there are few things
in this world easier than finding
fault. There's something
our human nature that takes delight in voicing criticism. The
critical spirit that pervades society as a whole is galling enough;
its prevalence among the people
of God is cause for even greater
concern. Jesus said, "Do not
judge, or you too will be judged.
For in the same way you judge
others, you will be judged" (Mt.
7:1 NIV).
I believe the reason God
speaks so strongly in His Word
against our judging others is
that He alone has all the facts.
When we decide to judge or criticize some brother who fails or in
some way falls short, we are never privy to all the facts and factors that have contributed to his
poor performance. Many times
there are extenuating circumstances of which we are totally
unaware-circumstances that if
we were facing them, would probably make our own performance
even more miserable.
Personally, I can get more
mileage out of one word of en-
couragement than I can out of a
whole bookful of criticisms. I'll
swap fifty critics for one good encourager any day of the week. I
usually don't need to have my
faults and shortcomings pointed
out to me (although there always
seem to be a few folks who feel
called to that ministry!).
There is such a thing as constructive criticism, but its valid
use is almost the exclusive right
of superiors, instructors, parents,
employers, teachers, and others
vested with legitimate authority.
Yet most criticism does not come
from such sources. Most criticisms are leveled by those who
are not responsible for the situation and who are not willing to be
accountable for what they say.
Most criticism is destructive,
and my own experience with
those who have been my critics
and who have told me things "for
my own good" is that they have
not really had "my good" in mind
at all. Destructive criticism
serves only to inflate the prideful
ego of the one making the criticism and to make life more miserable and more difficult for the
one being criticized.
Until the Kingdom comes I
suspect the world will remain full
of criticism and condemnation
and full of those who delight in
expressing them as well. But if
we are living the kind of life the
Lord intends, we will properly
find ourselves the targets of such
ungodly attacks rather than the
instigators of them. At least,
that's the way I see it. 0
Don Basham is chief
editorial consultant
for New Wine.
~& ~a
"Terry Law has an emphasis that is greatly needed among Christians everywhere. He has discovered through personal experience and in the Word of God the power that is released through
thanksgiving, praise, and worship. I would encourage anyone to
read his book, knowing that it can change their lives and bring
them into a greater dimension of spiritual devotion and power."
Charles Simpson
ExI......ace God' miracle po
....., , '
, "
"As God has been giving me new insights and revelations on
what power praise and worship can have in our lives, my desire
has been to share this. In meetings all over the world I've been
teaching on this, and I've seen miracles occur when people
entered into praise and worship-blind eyes were opened,
deaf ears began to hear, and twisted limbs were straightened
by the power of the presence of God."
Terry Law
Re d Terry Law's new book and discover for yourself...
he Power of Praise and Worship
Don't miss this opportunity to enter into a new dimension in your praise
and worship! Read how God spoke to Terry Law in one of the darkest
hours of his life and how Terry was able to enjoy the goodness of the Lord
as he began to praise and worship Him once again. Let Terry share with
you the new power that he discovered in his life as a direct result. Order
this book today and expect exciting changes in your own life!
The Power of Praise and Worship by Terry Law-Reg. $6.95 Now $5.50
To order your copy see page 19.
When you give a gift of NEW
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From God. You'll find answers to
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Basham illustrates specific ways to confirm the guidance
you've received and then gives you principles that can help
you "walk it out."
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